News Taste Of Alabama: Bringing Farmers And Legislators Together 

Taste Of Alabama: Bringing Farmers And Legislators Together 

Taste Of Alabama: Bringing Farmers And Legislators Together 
April 6, 2023 |

By Maggie Edwards

Alabama-grown food, fellowship and one-on-one conversations filled the room during the Alabama Farmers Federation annual Taste of Alabama legislative reception April 5 in Montgomery. 

Over 100 elected officials and numerous farmer-leaders gathered as legislators engaged with their local constituents, such as Baldwin County farmer Mark Kaiser. 

“I had the opportunity to visit with my elected officials,” said Kaiser. “They are all very grateful to be here and are thankful for our support.” 

Kaiser represents Mobile County on the Federation state board, which is home to State Sen. David Sessions, R-Grand Bay, a farmer himself. 

“We grow cotton and peanuts, raise cattle and have fruit and vegetables on our farm near the Gulf Coast,” said Sessions, who serves as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. “I enjoy serving my district and serving people of the state and the opportunity to look out for agriculture.” 

As a farmer and a state senator, Sessions acknowledged the significance of farmers getting involved with local politics. 

“It is important for us as farmers to get our stories to the rest of the state and to the people who don’t understand agriculture,” Sessions said. “We want to keep families on their farms. We don’t want to rely on someone else for our food.” 

The Alabama Farmers Federation held its Taste of Alabama legislative reception April 5.

Year after year, legislators enjoy coming to the Federation home office to taste the delicious flavors of Alabama-grown products. This year, the menu included: Bishop’s Barbecue Pork, Colbert County; praline pecans from Priester’s Pecans, Lowndes County; grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Houston County; ice cream from Blue Ribbon Dairy, Elmore County; peel and eat shrimp from Greene Prairie Farm, Greene County; smoked turkey gumbo from the Federation Wildlife Committee; beef brisket from Trinity Farms, Lowndes County; Alabama honey from the Federation Bee & Honey Committee; U.S. farm-raised catfish; and more. 

State Rep. Napoleon Bracy Jr., D-Saraland, said this event showcases the diverse agriculture industry across the state.

“Agriculture is one of the largest industries in Alabama and I feel privileged to serve on the House Committee on Agriculture. One thing I want to highlight is this BBQ sauce made in Alabama,” said Bracy, as he held a bottle of Bishop’s BBQ sauce. “This is what I look forward to the most. We are so grateful to the agricultural industry here in Alabama.”  

Alabama Sen. Dan Roberts, R-Birmingham, embraces the shared values among several legislators and the Federation. 

“We love showing up at Alfa meetings and hearing the concerns of members,” Roberts said. “Having the Federation speaking into legislation that we are working on, representing the people of Alabama is a critical component in how legislation is made. It is a privilege to work with Alfa on many issues.” 

In addition to legislators, the Federation welcomed Gov. Kay Ivey and other constitutional officers who mingled with the crowd of farmers.

“This event is so important to see farmers and all elected officials engage together,” Kaiser said. “If you are not participating, you don’t have a voice. The more you participate, the stronger your voice for Alabama agriculture.” 

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